On my first trip to Afghanistan which I had, so far, researched from distance, both the urgency of negotiations and the deteriorating security situation were palpable. One’s stay in Kabul is enough for one to realize that peace and stability are still a far cry for this country.
Following the Islamic State’s battlefield and territorial losses in the Middle East, its franchise in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, the Islamic State of Khorasan, has emerged as the group’s most brutal iteration.
The US is incrementally increasing its frequency and type of FONOP in the South China Sea, so as to reassure its allies of its resolve and to put the onus on China to take the risk of conflict. Employing this tactic has negative implications for its standing in the region.
There are two major international peace efforts that are currently underway to restore peace and stability in Afghanistan: the recently galvanized American push for peace led by Zalmay Khalilzad and the year-old Moscow-led consultations.
Making the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) more than a buzzword, on 15 November 2018, leaders of Australia, India, Japan and the United States met on the sidelines of the 13th East Asian Summit in Singapore.
Washington DC based analysts sharply criticized the policy and actions of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration regarding China’s actions in the South China Sea, reflecting the US government concern that under Duterte it is “losing” the Philippines.
In October 2018, the MoU on the feasibility study of the Muse-Mandalay railway, a part of the USD 20 billion Sino-Myanmar railway, was signed. This led to the speculation that the canceled Sino-Myanmar railway might be resumed.
The US and China are increasingly confronting each other militarily in the South China Sea. The US is deploying new undersea drones in multiple sizes and diverse payloads. China’s use of drones in the East China Sea has already raised political hackles.
The Trump administration’s concept of the “Indo-Pacific” should be placed in the context of the main strategic aims of his administration: to preserve the world primacy of the US and to prevent a strong China from displacing the US in Asia.